Opinion

Open Data: The Tough Questions

Tom Slee of The Guardian recently raised some of his concerns regarding who profits most from open data. He states, “In the technology world, ‘openness!’ has long been a battle cry of the underprivileged. It’s the language of bottom up freedom against top-downcontrol; of Linux against Microsoft and Wikipedia against Britannica. And now, open government data is the demand of those who would drag government data out from behind locked doors. But the world has changed since Linus Torvalds started his hobby operating system, and now openness is heard from the top as much as the bottom.” Read more

Google’s Structured Data Take Over

Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently posed the question, is Google hijacking semantic markup and structured data? She writes, “In 2012, I started a series, How The Major Search And Social Engines Are Using The Semantic Web, which took us to a point in time around September 2012. Since then, there have been further interesting developments. In this article, I am going to focus on recent developments that are search engine and/or Google specific, then take a further look back in search engine history with the assumption (for you history and strategy lovers,) that a successful strategy used once, may well be used again in similar circumstances.” Read more

An Opinion of Semantic Travel Search

Phillip Butler of Argophilia.com recently shared his opinions regarding semantic search as it relates to the travel industry, particularly with regard to Desti, a new travel search startup. Butler writes, “The other day Tnooz reported on Expedia testing their own variant of natural language search, now available in a Powerset-like sandbox called YourVisit. In that article Kevin May aptly points to other supposed ‘natural language search’ developments in travel, namely Evature and Hopper. The problem with this is, these systems are not AI nor true semantic search, in fact ‘natural language search’ is a buzz term actually used by Powerset to differentiate from hakia and Google semantic search experiments.” Read more

Thinking Differently with Graph Databases

Emil Eifrem, CEO of Neo Technology recently opined that graphs offer a new way of thinking. He explains, “Faced with the need to generate ever-greater insight and end-user value, some of the world’s most innovative companies — Google, Facebook, Twitter, Adobe and American Express among them — have turned to graph technologies to tackle the complexity at the heart of their data. To understand how graphs address data complexity, we need first to understand the nature of the complexity itself. In practical terms, data gets more complex as it gets bigger, more semi-structured, and more densely connected.” Read more

How the Internet of Things Will Reshape the World in 2013

Aron Kramer of The Guardian recently predicted long-term changes to the world that will occur in 2013. He writes, “A healthy dose of scepticism is in order whenever one attempts to foresee the future. Events usually make great sense in retrospect, but are difficult to predict at the time. The daily hum of headlines, breaking news and Twitterfeeds may distract us from the underlying changes taking place. With this in mind, the best way to think about 2013 is to consider the long-term changes that are reshaping our world – some with visible effect, and some under the radar.” Read more

Why WordPress Needs to Embrace Machine Readability

Benjamin J. Balter recently opined that WordPress needs to start better expressing content in a machine readable format. Balter begins with an explanation of REST: “The idea is simple: a URL should uniquely identify the underlying data it represents. If I have a URL, I shouldn’t need anything else to view or otherwise manipulate the information behind it. WordPress, for the most part, does this well. Each post is given a unique permalink (e.g., 2012-12-15-why-wordpress…) that always points to that post. The problem is, however, in WordPress’s sense, it points to the display of that content, not the content itself. Read more

Could Galway Become Europe’s Silicon Valley?

NUI Galway recently discussed the possibility of Galway becoming the European equivalent of Silicon Valley. According to an article out of the university, “Brendan Smith, Community Education and Outreach Officer for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway, was presented with the Science Person of the Year Award at the recent Galway Science and Technology Festival. He was given the award for delivering a range of pioneering science and technology learning initiatives to schools, colleges and to communities. Brendan Smith believes passionately that the city possesses many of the key ingredients needed to transform the region into a leading global hub for smart technologies’ innovation and development.” Read more

A Tale of Agile Development… of a Standard

Some in the Semantic Technology community have pointed out that from a development perspective, Semantic Technologies are well suited for an agile approach to programming, and we will be discussing that idea more in future here at SemanticWeb.com. Today, however, we’re taking a look at some novel thoughts on agile development of a standard, thanks to guest contributor, Andreas Gebhard. He is Director, Editorial at Getty Images, and Board member of the IPTC.

We caught up with Gebhard at the recent Semantic Technology & Business Conference in New York, where he initially shared this idea with us.

He has expanded on these ideas in a post on the Getty Images blog. As Gebhard says, “I want to tell you the story of how we got there in just about a year — tremendously fast, in the world of standards.”

We re-print the post in its entirety below with thanks to the author and Getty Images.

Read more

London’s Moment: The New Age of Internet

Saul Klein of the Guardian recently discussed the new age of the internet and the role that London could play in this period of innovation and development. Klein writes, “My career in the internet industry began in London in 1993 and if you had told me then that the UK would one day be the most advanced internet economy in the world, I would have questioned your sanity. But that is precisely what it is today. According to the Boston Consulting Group, by 2016, 3 billion people will be online and the internet economy will be worth $4.2tn among G20 countries – almost doubling in size since 2010. It’s a revolution which is rewiring every part of business and society, from SMEs to multi-nationals, not-for-profits to governments – and Britain is leading the way. In 2010, the internet accounted for more than 8% of UK GDP (a figure I’ll come back to), more than any other G20 nation, including the US (at 5.4%) and China (6.9%).” Read more

2013: The Year of the Internet of Things

Jamillah Knowles of The Next Web recently explained why 2013 will be the year of the Internet of Things. Knowles writes, “This year’s Le Web event in Paris was based around the theme of the Internet of Things (IoT); the way in which objects around us will gather data and connect to controls or other machines via the Internet… There are still issues that need to be bashed out of course, proprietary technologies and closed data systems don’t do much to help things along. Privacy, security and networks are also in need of further consideration. However, products like the Fitbit or Fuelband are already becoming commonplace and makers are experimenting with remote systems like Lockitron for front doors and Growerbot for watering house plants.” Read more

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